SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — After Sayuri Fujita gave birth through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) without being married, there is growing dispute over whether it is possible to get pregnant and give birth without being married in South Korea.
Sayuri, a Japanese TV personality based in South Korea, recently unveiled that she gave birth to a son using donated sperm and became a single mother in Japan.
She claimed that in South Korea, only married women can give birth through IVF, adding that it is illegal for unmarried women to give birth through sperm donation.
In reality, however, there are no legal grounds for punishment and prevention of unmarried women from giving birth through sperm donation.
Instead, the medical community could have internal guidelines making it difficult for unmarried women to try IVF using donated sperm as a mean of conceiving.
The Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology set up ethical guidelines on assisted reproductive technology in 2011, stipulating that sperm donation, in principle, should be limited to couples who are in a legally recognized marriage.
The law does not restrict unmarried women from using the assisted reproductive technology nor protect them.
Accordingly, hospitals have concerns that legal disputes could arise if they use the assisted reproductive technology for unmarried women.
There are also some who view IVF of unmarried women as an issue that runs against some doctors’ ethics and conscience.
The social perception about unmarried single moms has contributed to spreading this mood across the nation.
“Deeply rooted in the perception of South Koreans and the nation’s family system is that there should be men,” said Choi Hyung-sook, President of InTree, an association for single moms.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)